How does Kenneth Branagh (the director) make Act One of Much Ado About Nothing into an exciting and effective film opening?
Kenneth Branagh is director of Much Ado About Nothing, a Shakespeare play made in 1993. Shakespeare plays still have wide (universal) appeal. Branagh uses a wide range of directorial techniques, which make the language of Shakespeare accessible to viewers unfamiliar with Shakespeare by helping people understand, using different types of directorial techniques.
In the opening scene Branagh sets the scene of the picnic by playing quiet, gentle music and, on a black screen, using white text he has the words of a song from the play with Beatrice reading them. It then goes to show the sky and hills going round to where there are lots of people sat down having a picnic. Then moving on to focus on Beatrice. Everyone seems calm and relaxed, all happy and everything is bright and full of colour. The people are wearing white clothes to show how red they are from sun burn.
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In the second scene the, Arrival of Don Pedro and Don John, Branagh makes the music loud and exciting. The music is fast as everyone is in a hurry. As they arrive they are riding in slow motion as the credits run. The camera follows people and watches what they are doing. When they have arrived they are wearing smart uniforms and are positioned so you can see everyone and also so you can see the contrasting colours of Don Pedro and Don John’s uniforms. One of them is wearing a blue collar and the other a black collar. At the end of the scene there is a low angle shot of Hero.
In the third scene where Claudio and Don Pedro are discussing Hero, there is no music so you listen to the conversation easily. They are talking about love and you can also hear birds singing in the background, this is digenetic sound. As they are walking through the garden, the camera is in front of them watching them, the camera then moves behind them as they stop walking and stand in one spot. As they carry on talking to each other the camera does close ups of their faces so we can see their expression.
In the forth scene where Borachio is at the window the music becomes dark and menacing. The window has bars so he has to look between them. This shows he is a trouble maker, the camera is looking up at the side of the window which makes the character look more menacing and also makes him look as if he is plotting something.
In the final scene of act one about Don John the music is low, mysterious and quiet. As Don John gets angry, the music becomes more staccato. It shows a lot of reds meaning anger and danger. It also shows he is powerful, strong and menacing. The camera has a lot of close ups of Don Johns face so his emotions and expressions are shown.
In conclusion Branagh has made Act One of Much Ado About Nothing into an exciting and effective film opening by using music to show feelings and what people are like. This is effective because it draws people into the film by helping them to understand what is happening, so they don’t need to worry as much about the Shakespearean language. I enjoyed the film because it showed the feelings of people very well and you don’t need to worry about the language as much. All the points I have made through out this are reasons why it is an exciting and effective film opening but most important is the music as it helps you understand, it makes the film exciting as it shows you what other people are feeling.